Food deserts are an epidemic in urban areas across America. Decades of socioeconomic and racial divide and widespread deurbanization have left vacant lots scattered in and around the poorest neighborhoods. Because of extended industrialization in cities has led to a toxic buildup of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), vacant lots are not always safe enough to use for urban agriculture initiatives. Current remediation methods often leave soil as unusable as before, encouraging development of the land and further gentrification rather than community centers found in urban gardens. A method using fungi to degrade PAHs through enzymes, mycoremediation, has been researched and codified in the last 30 years. Mycoremediation offers an environmentally friendly pathway to cleaning up urban soils so they can be safely used to mitigate food deserts.


Moreno, Carlo


Environmental Studies


Agriculture | Civic and Community Engagement | Environmental Studies | Other Microbiology | Urban Studies


Mycoremediation, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, community gardens, urban agriculture

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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